Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale could ill-afford to be approached by Manchester United during the summer transfer window such is the fragility of his career at the Bernabeu, according to former Wales striker Malcolm Allen.
Bale has come under increasing criticism from Real supporters during a poor second season at the club despite winning four major trophies during his 18-month tenure in the Spanish capital.
The 25-year-old will earn some much-needed respite from criticism from Real fans during the upcoming international break which sees Wales face Israel in a crucial European Championship qualifier.
The world's most expensive player has been heavily linked with a permanent return to British shores amid his second season problems, with Louis van Gaal's United reportedly interested in Bale but Allen says the player could do without those distractions.
"With what's happening he's got to ride the storm a little bit," Allen said. "He's only 25 and I hope he's not going to have his head turned in the summer by Manchester United coming in for him.
"Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world and he's at the right place, but I'm not sure what's going to happen."
A David Moyes-led United were understood to be interested in signing Bale during the summer of 2013, when he completed his £85m ($127m) move to Real and could make a second attempt to lure the ex-Southampton youngster to Old Trafford ahead of next season.
Meanwhile, Wales manager Chris Coleman, whose side trail Group B leaders Israel by a point ahead of the critical Euro 2016 qualifier, says this period of Bale's career will be the making or breaking of the winger.
"Real Madrid is another level from most clubs," he said. "When you are the most expensive player on the planet that comes with a burden and an added pressure.
"You have to step up and show everyone that you were fit or the pressure is too much for you and you end up coming home.
"Look what he's won since he's been there. He's become a better player, a more mature player, I'm glad he did it because we get the benefits of him because even though he's a great player he's become better since he went there. I think it's worked out."